Remember the good old days of high-quality baseball blogging?


Reading The Onion this afternoon, I came across this story about a defunct four-year-old sports blog continuing to exist. I laughed because I have a defunct seven-year-old sports blog floating like a ghost ship out there myself. It’s Shysterball, the blog where I got my start. Some of you used to even read it. It’s still hanging around.

I don’t get too nostalgic about much in life, but I did spend a lot of time reading old posts today. Mostly because I wanted to see if they were any good. You see, as time goes on I get more and more of my old readers saying “man, I miss Shysterball.” They tell me that they miss the kind of stuff I used to write there with the clear implication that it was better or more thought-provoking. There is this sense that 2007-09 was the good old days, and man, too bad we can’t have that kind of content back again.

I get that. But looking back at the content doesn’t really support the premise. I wrote all kinds of dumb stuff back then. Indeed, the signal to noise ratio wasn’t really any better than than it is now. It may have been worse. Just a small sampling:

There’s real content there too — a lot of it good — but there’s an awful lot of fluffy silliness. Which I still love, by the way. But it certainly puts lie to the notion that I used to write better or more weighty things. A lot of this stuff has always been about killing time and making jokes while waiting for a ballgame to start. In some ways, it’s like how people talk about “classic” movies or music from the 60s or 70s. We all like to pretend it was all “Casablanca,” the Beatles and the Stones, but for every one of them there were ten crappy melodramas and 100 Tony Orlando and Dawns.

Oh well. I still miss Shysterball sometimes. Maybe the less I read it, the more I’ll miss it. Heh.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.


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